Over the coming months leading into the 100th season at Glenboro Golf & Country Club, I will be taking you through the decades that have moulded the rural Manitoba golf club into one of the top 9 hole golf courses in North America. This information comes from numerous articles and first hand accounts from long time Glenboro Golf Club members. The second part, "Post WWII" chronicles the struggles the war placed on the course and how GGCC came out the other side stronger than before.
Part 2 - Post World War II
On September 10th, 1939, Canada entered the second World War. Cabinet dispatched one army division to Europe and by late 1942 there were five divisions overseas. Over 1 million Canadians served in the armed forces during WWII and hundreds of thousands more contributed domestically to supporting our overseas allies.
As one can imagine, the war had a significant effect on the game of golf and golf courses in the heart of Canada. Many courses ceased all operation, some reduced the number of holes they maintained. Resources like gasoline and rubber were rationed so this limited what courses could or should be using.
Although there is no record of the direct effects on Glenboro Golf Course, tournaments continued to operate in the first few years of the war despite many civilians becoming into wartime duties domestically and abroad. These tournaments drew attention from golfers in Winnipeg who began traveling rurally as many city golf courses struggled to operate at full capacity. Glenboro eventually had to cut back operations in the later years of the war as Canada became extremely involved in overseas war efforts. The course began growing more weeds than manicured turf and the sand greens went untouched for years, but by the end of the 1940s participation increased in a way never seen before.
As civilians returned from the war and got back to their lives in Canada, many took to recreational activities such as golf. Glenboro Golf Course appears to have gotten back on its feet by 1949 when names such as Roy Wallis and Allen Frederickson began to frequent tournament summaries in the now Glenboro Gazette. Combing through achieves it becomes clear that the course was being maintained for over a decade by volunteer work. Updates were abundant from the Golf Course Committee on work being done by their group to get the course in proper playing condition. If there is one thing that has remained constant in Glenboro Golf Club’s history, it is the passion and dedication of its members and volunteers in the community.
In 1951, Glenboro finally found their man to take over as a full-time caretaker on the golf course. Harry Thornborough began work in the spring of 1951 and the course conditions began receiving praise and trend back in a direction members could be proud of and begin to enjoy themselves. Operating on an annual budget of roughly $840, the golf course, thrived in the 1950s. Members began pairing up for annual match play events which still happens today although it is now simply referred to as Men’s Night. 27 Hole tournaments were not only well attended locally but saw golfers from as far away as Los Angeles, California participate. The committee held events tailored to those who have never played before to increase participation. One can’t help but compare these events to the modern day Steak Nights held at GGCC as the advertisements encouraged spouses or friends who have never played before to attend with members.
After joining the Manitoba Golf Association in 1957, Glenboro hosted an exhibition match between Don Gardner, Harry Critchley, & Allen Boes who were regarded as the top three competitors the province had to offer at the time. Boes now resides in the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame and all three men played on the Manitoba Wellingdon Cup Team. Following their match, the three men held a free clinic for local golfers and commented on how fine the links were. Boes frequented many events in the Glenboro area over the years following, speaking volumes for his regard for the course.
With Glenboro Golf Club’s prestige growing and record numbers of golfers attending events, the committee needed to expand with the demand. And one area where the club was lacking was its dated, compact clubhouse.
In the spring of 1960, Glenboro Golf Club purchased the Patricia School building from the Glenboro Legion. The building was moved onto the golf course and attached to the existing clubhouse on the location of what is now the second tee box. The old clubhouse had been moved to this location in 1955 and would now serve as the kitchen with the addition of the Patricia School building. This expansion gave the golf course more room to add extra facilities and enhance their overall operation. It came at an expense of $2,000 which equates to about $18,500 in 2022. In order to raise money for this expense the club sold shares valued at $10 and as the locals do time and time again, they stepped up and purchased these shares at a rapid rate and before long this clubhouse expansion was paid in full.
As the first 40 years at Glenboro Golf & Country Club come to a close in 1962, the club has so very much to be proud of and has set in place a culture and events that are still synonymous with GlenboroG&CC to this day. The club had survived the Great Depression & Second World War. The course conditions evolved with the times thanks to the love and care of the courses members and their caretakers over the years. They now had a comfortable sized clubhouse. Men’s Night was growing into the popular weekly event that it still is today. Mrs. Gownlock & Mrs. Frederickson among many others formalized a ladies league on Wednesday evenings in 1961. That too continues every Wednesday 60+ years later.
There is much credit to be given to the individuals and families who kept the club alive through the war and nurtured it into a thriving club through the 50s and beyond. Their drive and determination to not be caught up in the status quo is what laid the foundation for Glenboro Golf & Country Club to prosper and created a culture that always strives to make the golf course better. To that end, the members of GGCC through the 1960s & 1970s would undertake projects that would forever change GlenboroG&CC.
Putting on the 6th Green (present day 7th) - 1955